Hello, everyone. Have you ever wanted to go to Antarctica? I sure have. On the list of places I definitely want to visit, it’s right near the top. (Only Mars is higher.) Through an unlikely series of events, I was recently invited to join a science expedition to that mysterious, frozen continent. On May 26, 2008, I will leave for the first of two month-long voyages in the Weddell Sea aboard the U.S. National Science Foundation’s icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer.
As the author of several well-received books, my official job is to write at least one children’s book about the expeditions. I wanted to make this book as interesting as possible for my favorite audience, kids 8-12 years old. I wanted to tell the story of the expedition in a way that might get my young readers as excited about Antarctica as I am, but I wasn’t sure what that way might be. While I was thinking all this over, I received a packet of letters from a class of fifth graders who had just finished reading my book, The Power of Un. All of them loved the book and wanted a sequel. The mental equivalent of an aurora australis went off in my head. Why not tell the story of my Antarctic expedition through The Power of Un’s adventurous protagonist, Gib Finney? And why not make it into a blog, so I could write a little piece each day as exciting things happened that I knew I would never be able to imagine ahead of time! And, hey, why not make it possible for kids to talk to me about the story (and the expedition) while I’m writing and living it?
So that’s what this blog is about. It’s a mongrel blend of fiction, science, and journalism that teachers will find useful and kids will find fun and thought-provoking. Plus, it’s a sequel my readers have been wanting for a long time. So wrap up in your fleece unders, strap on your life jacket, and come along with Gib Finney, Ash Jensen, Rainy Frogner, and me as we explore one of the strangest, most exciting places on Earth. For further details about the expedition and blogs, including a press kit and photos, go to icebreakerblog.org.
NOTE: If you’re new to the blog, it’s best to begin with the very first post. To get there, click “February 2008″ under “Archives” on the right side of this page, then click the yellow “1″ on the calendar. To ask me a question, use the “Comments” feature.